So what has been happening down on the dairy farm in the last ten days? In a word…….lots. It is certainly hard work here and you don’t get to sit down for too long. We’ve been on the go seven days a week with various different jobs to do. Two barns have been sorted, cleared, swept and the rubbish taken to the tip. What is it about farms that they accumulate so much stuff?
Some of the cows have been on the move in the mobile pen to different pastures.
If you don’t own a lawnmower then a cow is probably the next best thing as half a dozen of them will clear a two acre field of lush long grass in just a few days leaving it looking like a barren wasteland. They do, however, leave their mark so to speak.
Tim got to play with some more boys toys (well not really, he was in charge of a shovel) on a busy scorching hot day whilst a mixture of grass, corn and wheat was harvested which will be used for feeding the cows. Four large tractors and trailers were used for the job with other farmers pooling their resources to help get the job done. Once cut, the grain was pumped into a giant airtight pvc sausage where it will ferment for at least six weeks before being fed to the cows.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Ilsa (Mum Bayer), had a birthday party to prepare for last Saturday. Thirty people were expected for a barbecue on the Saturday evening so it was all hands to the pumps in the kitchen in preparation. Picking, gathering, washing, peeling, chopping, boiling, steaming, weighing, mixing, blending, whipping, baking, stirring, marinating, tasting…….the list was endless. Ilsa co-ordinated everything in the kitchen with aplomb but it took seven hours of furious work to get all the food prepared.
It was a shame for Ilsa that it was actually her own birthday that she was preparing everything for. If I was her I’d be insisting that next year I be taken out instead!
Gerd (son Bayer) and other helpers had made the area at the back of the barn look amazing with table cloths and home grown flowers on every table and fairy lights draped around the perimeter of the garden.
The following day the village had their annual street festival with traditional German food, beer, cakes, theatre, archery and music.
It’s the first street party I’ve been to since the Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977 when I was nine!
Tim was asked to play in the little church before one of the villagers gave a talk on the history of Rüsselhausen church.
A documentary about the farm and the Bayer family is currently being made and a cameraman and interviewer were at the house for the weekend filming what was going on.
I got to do some strimming before I was dispatched off with Ilsa to the supermarket. It wasn’t until we came out of the supermarket that I realised my legs below the knees were completely green from the strimming with a tide mark where my socks had been. Doh! Fortunately I’m not well known here.
Another first for Tim was changing the oil on the tractor. It’s not often he gets his hands dirty these days and normally avoids it at all costs but, well, the tractor is more interesting than the bikes I suppose!
The swallows have been bringing up their young in the cow barn and it looks like they are now almost ready to fledge.
All in all, then, a busy time and we have aching muscles where we didn’t even know we had muscles but we’ll feel all the better for it………….won’t we?